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Using hearing aids in practice and in the orchestra
Do those who wear hearing aids have to get them tweaked in any special ways for playing in an orchestra? Any tips?
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fiddlrgrrl
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November 30, 2015 - 12:17 am
Member Since: January 23, 2012
Forum Posts: 73
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Hi Pierre and everyone,

I recently upgraded my hearing aids so I now have a "directional setting" in addition to an "all around" setting.  The volume on these is very high compared to my former inexpensive Costco aids. My hearing loss is moderate, but I had been unable to hear what the director was saying during orchestra rehearsals, and now I can hear her, so that is a huge improvement.  However even with the directional setting (amplifying only what is in front of me) I am quite jangled by the brass section behind me, and music and radio all have kind of an irritating metallic "edge" to them which I am kind of getting used to. 

I'm curious if other hearing aid users have a similar experience, and if your audiologist has been able to tweak the settings for you.  My audiologist is not a musician, so trying to communicate my experience to him with words is difficult.  I finally took my violin into his office and played some scales rather aggressively, then played the same thing with my heavy practice mute, trying to create for him a sense of the jangling "edge" vs. a mellower sound.  He was able then to adjust the settings to relieve a lot of the irritating sound.

As far as my general practice at home, I  have not yet been able to tell if the aids help me have better intonation. Since the sound is right in front of me with or without aids, and my hearing loss is moderate, I'm not sure if amplification has made a difference or not.

I'd be interested in any comments from other hearing aid users.

Fiddlrgrrl

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 30, 2015 - 9:09 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14408

I've known a lot of musicians with hearing problems. Tinnitus, loss of hearing, and sound sensitivity. As far as I can tell, hearing aides are beneficial for tuning in on intonation when your hearing is impaired. With sound sensitivity, musician earplugs are great.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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